Iran: Juvenile Offender Facing Execution

In Iran a young man is facing execution, even though he was a child at the time of his alleged crimes. This is a shocking possibility, and completely contrary to international law.

Saman Naseem is now just 21 years old, but it has been over 2 years since he was first sentenced to death. Saman’s sentence was then overturned by the Supreme Court and he was sent for retrial. This was because he was under the age of 18 at the time of the crimes for which he had been convicted.

Despite this, in April 2013, Saman was again sentenced to death for "enmity against God" and "corruption on earth". The convictions were because of his membership of the Kurdish armed opposition group, Party for Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), and for taking part in armed activities against Revolutionary guards.

In December 2013 the Supreme Court upheld Saman's death sentence. His death sentence has now been sent to the Office of the Implementation of Sentences, meaning Saman is now facing the prospect of execution at any time.

Claims of Torture and Ill-treatment

Court documents stated that Saman admitted firing towards Revolutionary Guards in July 2011. However, Saman retracted this in court and said he had only fired into the air.

Saman said he had been kept blindfolded whilst he was interrogated, and so he was unaware of what was written in the 'confessions' he was forced to sign. During the early investigations Saman was also not allowed access to his lawyer, and was allegedly tortured or otherwise ill-treated. 

Young Offenders at risk

Saman’s case is unfortunately not unique. In the last few months Amnesty has issued two other urgent actions for the juvenile offenders Rasoul Holoumi and Razieh Ebrahimi, who are now awaiting execution.

Alarmingly, Iran keeps carrying out executions of young offenders, although it is strictly prohibited under international law. Amnesty International knows about at least eight juvenile executions in the first half of 2014. Reports indicate that at least 11 young offenders were put to death during 2013 who were under age 18 at the time of their alleged crimes. But according to some sources that Amnesty International considers reliable the number could be even bigger as many are executed in secret.

Take Action

We are asking you to write to the authorities urging them to halt the Saman’s execution and order a retrial that complies with fair trial standards, without the possibility of the death penalty.

For more information and further guidance on what to put in your letter, have a look at the attached case file, below.

Please write before 31st October 2014 to:

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahdid Keshvar Doust Street

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency


Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

c/o Public Relations Office

Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency


Please send copies of your letters to:

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Hassan Rouhani

The Presidency

Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

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